Don’t Delay: Only a Week Left to Reserve Your Spot!
We’re very happy to start the new year with a Lion’s Roar Foundation Weekend. The Lion’s Roar is a three year training in meditation practice, which aims to introduce students to the view of the highest Buddhist teachings, known as Maha Ati, and to establish students in a genuine meditation practice. While the foundation weekend on January 14-15 is the entry point to this programme, it can also be taken as a standalone introduction to the Ati teachings which show us how to relate directly to our world in a non-egocentric way.
The weekend will be taught Kathy Nairne who has studied for many years with Rigdzin Shikpo, the lineage holder of the Longchen Foundation. For more information and to register for this weekend of teachings and meditation see the Eventbrite page here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-lions-roar-foundation-weekend-online-tickets-468830002157.
We invite you to watch Rigdzin Shikpo’s overview of the Lion’s Roar Programme which can be found on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdpSHvic7Dg.
Lion’s Roar Gate 5 on January 21-22
For those on the current Lion’s Roar Stream or anyone who wishes to revisit the precious teachings of the Lion’s Roar, on January 21-22 Mary Mackay-James will be teaching us the view and practice of Gate 5 online via Zoom. For more information and to register, see the Eventbrite page: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-lions-roar-gate-5-weekend-january-21-22-2023-online-tickets-484997168587. The only requisite to attend this teaching is to have previously attended Gate 4.
Returning This Monday
The Path of Freedom group in Lewisham, South London will resume this forthcoming Monday, 9th January. This Path of Freedom group has been meeting since the year 2000 and is taught by Caroline Cupitt, David Hutchens and Kathy Nairne, all of whom live locally and are close students of Rigdzin Shikpo, who is the director and primary teacher of the Longchen Foundation.
Those attending are a mixture of experienced students and beginners who meet weekly to practice meditation together and to deepen their understanding of the Buddhist teaching.
The core teaching of our group is the view of complete openness towards your experience and the development of that attitude through the practice of formless meditation. Once or twice a year we run short courses (4-5 weeks duration) focusing on the main elements of formless meditation. At other times topics from the Path of Freedom curriculum are presented.
If you are interested in attending the group or for more information, please contact us via email at email@example.com.
Resuming on January 26th
As Rigdzin Shikpo teaches, the method that the Buddha gave us to investigate one’s experience and to allow one’s own being to express itself, is the practice of meditation. On January 26th we will begin a new 8-week Longchen Open course, for those who wish to attend a weekly introduction to meditation practice.
This course is taught by some of the most experienced teachers of the Longchen Foundation all of whom have studied with Rigdzin Shikpo for many years. This group will meet on Zoom on Thursday evenings from 7pm to 8pm UK time.
The hour starts with a Longchen instructor giving simple instruction on formless meditation, followed by roughly 20 to 30 minutes of formless meditation practice. The final 15 or 20 minutes are an opportunity for open discussion about meditation or other practice topics. This group is ideal both for those who are new to the practice of formless meditation and also for those wishing to reconnect to this foundational practice.
If you would like to attend, or have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the Zoom link. We look forward to seeing you there!
Monthly Dharma Quotation
As you practice and the mind begins to relax, maybe you begin to see that what you see, what you hear, what you smell, what you taste, what you touch, they’re not actually owned by anybody. You might think this is good to see. Maybe it makes me feel a bit more relaxed. But what do you mean, “makes me feel a bit more relaxed?” It’s like I might try to start owning the results of meditating. And then you begin to realize that’s a bit suspicious. And in fact, the whole what you might call ego enterprise is a very fishy business. You need to realize, actually, that maybe it’s completely wrong-headed, that maybe, after all, my actions of body, speech and mind, my perceptions, my sense of love and compassion, of joy, of equalness, my sense of happiness and sorrow and so on, maybe they’re all free-standing. Maybe they don’t need to be supported by ego. Maybe I’m wrong to say, “my senses, my feeling of love and compassion, my joy, my happiness.”
If that sense of ego were to begin to collapse, the sense of ego itself, like a little siren voice, would tell you, “Oh you can’t do without me, I am the one who loves, who has joy, who has compassion and who experiences happiness and sorrow. Without me you would never experience any of that.” But you begin to realize you’ve been telling yourself lies all your life. And like a revelation, you see you don’t need any of that. In fact, love and compassion, wisdom, sharpness of mind increase as ego decreases. You will become, maybe for the first time, a genuine person as distinct from a grasping, feeble ego.
Perhaps we shouldn’t be all that interested in the ego vanishing but more interested in the way the flow of experience, the sense of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, become what are sometimes called super-senses. They have nuances, depths, subtlety that never seem to be there as long as ego is there. It is possible to experience joy and sorrow and everything else through the senses without it being tainted by egocentricity. When that happens then the world itself begins to change. Your universe becomes something very different in a way that is not even possible to describe very clearly. And your presence would become a kind of blessing for the world.
This month’s quotation comes from the Heart of Buddha teaching Rigdzin Shikpo gave this past December 3rd.